|Publication number||US6948975 B1|
|Application number||US 10/756,886|
|Publication date||Sep 27, 2005|
|Filing date||Jan 8, 2004|
|Priority date||Jan 8, 2004|
|Publication number||10756886, 756886, US 6948975 B1, US 6948975B1, US-B1-6948975, US6948975 B1, US6948975B1|
|Inventors||Fee Chan Leung, Michael T. Brundage|
|Original Assignee||The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Army|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (6), Classifications (14), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The invention described herein may be manufactured, used, imported, sold, and licensed by or for the Government of the United States of America without the payment of any royalty thereon or therefor.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to adaptors for power sources and, more particularly, to adaptors for power sources used in energizing a lantern flashlight.
2. Related Art
Devices for adapting cell type batteries for use in connection with lanterns are known. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,806,440 to Hahs, Jr. et al. describes a lantern battery substitute that has an upper assembly 10 and lower assembly 20. As illustrated in
Another example is illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 5,240,787 to Goldschmidt et al which describes a cell battery adaptor that has a main receptacle 10 and a hinged closure portion 20. As shown in
While the above-described devices may be suitable for adapting cell type batteries for powering lanterns, to date, no suitable device is available for adapting high voltage batteries for use with, e.g., military type lantern flashlights. A long felt need exists for such a device as numerous high voltage batteries are available with a charge that is suitable for use with lantern flashlights. For example, the Army purchases approximately 300,000 BA-5590/U lithium batteries a year currently at a cost of approximately $75.00 per battery for a total of about $22.5 million a year. This particular battery is commonly used in manpack tactical radios such as the AN/PRC-119 SINCGARS radio. Under current operating procedures, the radio operator is responsible for insuring that the radio will not shut down during a mission. The operator risks disciplinary action by the unit commander if he fails to install a fresh battery during pre-mission preparations and the battery is depleted prior to completion of the mission. In one particular case, a SINCGARS radio can operate for 32 hours on one BA-5590/U battery, but the operator may change the battery every 24 hours. Partially used BA-5990/U batteries will be returned to the unit supply point with 25 percent energy (40-watt hours) remaining which represents approximately $18.75 worth of energy.
It is believed that the partially used high voltage battery has little likelihood of use, and the supply personnel generally choose to activate the battery's internal self-discharge circuit to discharge the battery to zero volts to prepare it for disposal. This can represent up to an estimated $5.625 million of wasted energy annually.
Accordingly, a need exists for a suitable adaptor for use with high voltage batteries.
In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, a lantern flashlight power source adaptor, which may be used with a battery that has an electrical socket, comprises a member and an electrical plug that is supported by the member. The electrical plug may be dimensioned and configured to be connectable with an electrical socket of a battery and the adaptor may also comprise at least one terminal connector that is connected in circuit with the electrical plug and that is located on the member.
Another aspect of the invention involves a lantern power source adaptor that may be used with a battery that has an electrical socket comprises a member and an electrical plug supported by the member. The electrical plug may be dimensioned and configured to be connectable with an electrical socket of a battery. The adaptor may also comprise at least one terminal connector located on the member, an electrical disconnect circuit connected in circuit with the electrical plug, and an electrical down converter circuit connected in circuit with the electrical plug.
A further aspect of the present invention involves a lantern power source adaptor for use with a battery that comprises a member and a means for electrically connecting with an electrical output of a battery and which is supported by the member. The adaptor also comprises a terminal connector means that is connectable with a lantern and that is located on the member. A means for disconnecting the battery at a predetermined voltage may be in circuit with the battery connecting means and means for downconverting a voltage of the battery also may be connected in circuit with the battery connecting means.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be evident to one of ordinary skill in the art from the following detailed description made with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
One embodiment of the present invention provides for the adapting of high voltage batteries for use with, e.g., military type lantern flashlights. It has been found that there is enough remaining energy in a partially used high voltage battery to operate less critical items commonly found in a typical Army unit such as lantern flashlights. It is believed that the user is less likely to face disciplinary action if a lantern flashlight fails during a mission. Also, during the Vietnam War, the Vietcong guerillas were able to power the lights in the tunnel networks by using discarded US Army magnesium batteries.
In this embodiment, a prismatic cap may be provided which may have two threaded post terminals or two spiral spring terminals commonly found on traditional zinc carbon or alkaline lantern batteries for lantern flashlights. An interior of the prismatic cap may include a battery terminal interface and a water resistant seal.
An adjustable strap may be employed to retain the cap on a high voltage battery and internal circuits supported by the cap may function to reduce the battery voltage as needed by the lantern flashlight and to open the circuit to the battery when the battery voltage reaches the minimum operating voltage. Opening the circuit to the battery reduces the likelihood of venting of the battery. Advantageously, the voltage cut-off circuit will not reset unless the battery is replaced.
Referring now to
The cap 14 may be composed of a moldable polymeric substance such as a high density polyethylene and may comprise a plate 22 and side walls 24. The side walls 24 may extend in a perpendicular direction from the plate 22 and are preferably dimensioned to extend over and cover an upper portion 26 of the battery 12 to thereby form a cap-like structure. In order to prevent the ingress of moisture along an interior surface 28 of the cap 14, a sealing gasket 30 may be located adjacent the side walls 24. A recessed portion 32 may be provided for receipt of a circuit board 34 supporting a circuit that will be more fully described below. An input wire 36 and output wires 38 may extend through bores or recesses (not shown) in the cap 14 to electrically connect with the plug 20 and terminal connectors 16.
Referring now to
The holding strap 18 is illustrated in
With reference to
As illustrated in
The disconnect circuit 54 may function to provide an automatic disconnect from a load, such as a lantern flashlight (not shown), at a low voltage and to thereby prevent toxic substances escaping from the battery. The disconnect circuit 54 may comprise a comparator (not shown) connected to open the circuit when the battery 12 reduces to approximately ten volts.
This embodiment of the present invention includes the following advantages.
1. Provides a reusable adaptor for lantern flashlights.
2. Provides for the use military lithium sulfur dioxide batteries in lantern flashlights.
3. Provides for the use of partially depleted lithium sulfur dioxide batteries that do not possess sufficient energy to meet minimum requirements for critical military items, but sufficient energy to power non-critical items. Without the present invention, the left over energy in these expensive lithium batteries will be wasted.
4. Provides a DC/DC converter that will reduce the high voltage military batteries to lantern voltage.
5. Provides an electronic battery disconnect circuit when the battery reaches minimum cut-off voltage to avoid lithium battery venting. Advantageously, the disconnect circuit may reset if the battery is replaced.
6. Provides an adaptor interface with battery that is water-resistant.
7. May be used on existing military batteries with no modifications.
8. Does not require special tools or training to install and operate.
While the present invention has been described in connection with what are presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to these herein disclosed embodiments. Rather, the present invention is intended to cover all of the various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||439/500, 439/217|
|International Classification||H01R31/06, H01M2/10, H01M2/20, H01R11/28, H01R3/00|
|Cooperative Classification||H01M2/20, H01M2/1022, H01R31/065, H01R11/281|
|European Classification||H01M2/20, H01R31/06B, H01M2/10C2|
|Aug 4, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS REPRESENTED BY THE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LEUNG, FEE CHAN;BRUNDAGE, MICHAEL T.;REEL/FRAME:016612/0372
Effective date: 20040106
|Apr 6, 2009||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Sep 27, 2009||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Nov 17, 2009||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20090927